A guide to Conditional Fee Agreements.
Conditional Fee Agreements in Personal Injury Claims
What is a Conditional Fee Agreement?
Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA) were first introduced in 1998, and subsequently modified in 2013. The core principle of a CFA is that your solicitor will only get paid on condition your case is successful, and you recover compensation from your opponent.
In addition, you should not have to make any payment upfront to your solicitor, so once the CFA is signed we can start work on your case straight away.
How does a CFA work?
Under a CFA you pay for the work we have done only if your case is successful and you receive compensation. In that situation it is generally the case that you will be able to recover our fees from your opponent in addition to the compensation that you receive. If your claim is unsuccessful, you will not be faced with a bill for the legal work we have done on your behalf.
We will charge a success fee if you receive compensation. This success fee will reflect matters such as the risks associated with your case, the fact that we will not be paid until it is concluded and also the fact we will often pay for expenses, such as medical report fees, on your behalf during the lifetime of the case.
Since 2013, the law does not allow the success fee to be recovered from the losing party. This is payable by you and will be deducted from the compensation you receive.
Does this mean you could be left with nothing, even if you win your case?
Not at all. Any success fee will be agreed with your lawyer before you enter into a CFA and a risk assessment will be discussed with you. The success fee is expressed as a percentage of our legal fees, not your compensation, and no deduction can be more than 25% of the total compensation awarded to you.
To put this into context, if you were awarded £10,000.00 in compensation, the maximum deduction we could make is £2,500.00, so you would keep the remaining £7,500.00.
Can you use a CFA for all types of Personal Injuries?
You can use a Conditional Fee Agreement for all types of personal injury claims including:
- Road Traffic accidents
- Cycling accidents
- Accidents abroad
- Trips and slips
- Sports injuries
- Clinical Negligence
If you win your case under a CFA
During the lifetime of the case you will be responsible for this firm’s fees and any expenses and disbursements that we incur on your behalf. However, provided your claim is successful and you recover compensation, these costs will then be recovered directly from your opponent.
In addition, we will then deduct the success fee from your award of compensation – remember, this will never be more than 25% of your total damages.
If you lose your case under a CFA
If the matter is lost and you do not recover compensation, then you will not be required to pay any of our costs. In some circumstances you may be held responsible for your opponent’s legal costs as well as expenses. It is possible to insure against this eventuality and your solicitor will discuss this with you.
Is a CFA the same as a ‘no win - no fee’ agreement?
Yes. Conditional Fee Agreements are more commonly known as a ‘no win - no fee’ arrangement.
Should you enter into a CFA?
When you speak to one of our expert Personal Injury team, they will discuss the funding arrangements open to you including a CFA. The most appropriate means of funding your claim will depend on a number of factors, including your prospects of success and your particular circumstances.
A CFA offers a number of benefits:
- It is a means of sharing the risks of your case
- If your case is lost, you do not need to worry about paying our fees
- If you win your case, any fees will be covered by the compensation you receive
If a CFA is appropriate for your claim, the team will send you a copy of the documentation and contact you to take you through it. The team will make sure that you understand how the Agreement works before you enter into it and we are very happy to answer any questions you may have.
Start your personal injury claim today
Call one of our friendly team to find out how we can help you on 01775 764150 or start your claim online now. For further information about a personal injury claim, get in touch with our solicitors in Alconbury, Peterborough, Spalding, Nottingham or Birmingham.